Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Queen's birthday holiday weekend

It's not often hubby and I go away but this past weekend was an exception.  We were asked by good friends to join them for an annual food and wine  festival which takes place in the King Valley.  The three hour drive from Melbourne took us through some beautiful countryside.

Early morning in the Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley
We caught up with our friends in Yarck to have a coffee break and then took alternate routes to the Milawa Cheese factory where we stopped and picked up some wonderful cheeses and breads for our dinner that night.
Strathbogie Ranges area

Strathbogie Ranges area
You can find out a little more about the Strathbogie Ranges here.  Here are some photos of scenery as we were driving down the valley.






Our first appointment in the lovely King Valley was at Politini Wines where we had the most wonderful Italian inspired lunch.  We were very lucky with the weather as it was sunny although VERY cold.  We sat at tables outdoors and enjoyed food, wine and live entertainment.


Taken late afternoon.
 We headed towards our accommodation passing beautiful scenery.  We stopped at Gentle Annie
for a stroll along the road and enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine.






Our original accommodation fell through so in the 11th hour our friends found alternative accommodation in the only place left in the valley that had vacancies.  (The food and wine festival is extremely popular and accommodation is booked a year in advance.)  So hubby and I were in a dorm room with an ensuite and no insulation in the roof or walls.  We did have a small fan heater in the room and I had thought to take a hot water bottle.  Nevertheless we spent a very cold night.  The other two couples in our party were in a little cottage with no insulation but they did have a split system air conditioner so were perhaps a few degrees warmer than us.  Despite the cold night, we enjoyed ourselves hugely feasting on cheeses, breads and other delicacies all washed down with some good quality wines.  We played a board game which had us all in fits of laughter and helped take our mind off the chillyness of the evening.

This is me next morning rugged up in every possible layer of clothing I could find, multiple doonas and my trusty crochet blanket.  Hubby had very kindly offered to brave the cold and make me a steaming hot cup of tea for which I was extremely grateful.


After a late breakfast we headed off to the Mountain View Hotel in Whitfield for lunch.  The food was delicious and everyone was well fed.  Later we headed off to Pizzini Wines for some more wine tasting, coffee and to enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere of people having a wonderful time.  There were people of all ages enjoying themselves, lots of kids and babies too, a real family occasion.  We met with the owner of the winery Fred Pizzini who was absolutely charming and had met our friends on their previous visits the the region.



Fred Pizzini is on the left, an Italian with red hair, amazing.  His sister Carla has redder hair and freckles and I felt right at home.  :)

Old tobacco drying sheds at Pizzinis now converted for the purpose of wine making.

 After an enjoyable afternoon and a few wine purchases we went back to the Mountain View hotel for dinner and had the most amazing pizza.  Fred Pizzini's son runs the hotel so good Italian style food and Pizzini wines were in abundance.

Our second night was cold but we bundled ourselves up in even more layers, cocooned ourselves in as many doonas as we could find and slept a little better.  After packing up and taking a few more photos, we headed off and had brunch at a cafe.


Our accommodation was the central building with the verandah.
 We then went to see an art show that was being held at another winery.  I fell quite in love with this espalier on the wall outside.


After viewing the artwork we parted ways with our friends and drove back to Melbourne.  Before heading out to a more main road we had to stop for a herd of dairy cows on the way to being milked.  Some decided the grass up the road was greener and the farmer had to round them up.  They were quite content to stand in front of our car and not let us through.




Our drive home took us through Mansfield a place I've always wanted to visit.  We didn't have much time to look around but I saw enough to want me to come back and visit.


Two quick photos of the Mansfield area taken out of the front window of the car.

So that was our weekend.  I'm sorry this is such a long post, thank you for taking the time to get to the end.

Anne  xx


14 comments:

greenthumb said...

Looks like a lovely weekend, it must have been nice to get away. Sham about the cold night.

vintage_declutter said...

That certainly looks like a lovely but brrrrrr freezing weekend! cheers Wendy

vintage_declutter said...

That certainly looks like a lovely but brrrrrr freezing weekend!

Julie @Dragonfly Gems said...

Some lovely photos Anne..you're right about the scenery, beautiful.. glad you had a great time despite being cold.

Those cows made me smile..naughty girls.. hehe :o)
Julie xx

Kar said...

What beautiful countryside! Sounds like you had a most wonderful weekend even though your lodging fell through. :)

Louise said...

Aside from the at cold night, this sounds like a wonderful weekend away and you visited some beautiful places - I think I'd like to visit some of them one day!

gillyflower said...

Looks like you had a great weekend, and it's great to see all your photos, the scenery is beautiful.
I know its silly but I was surprised when I read about the cold - tend to think of Australia as always being hot, and forget you're going into autumn/winter there!
Gill xx

Mum said...

Looks like a very enjoyable weekend apart from the cold.
Love from Mum
xx

BadPenny said...

What a wonderful trip. I can't imagine it being so cold for you as I imagine it always hot !
Wonderful x

Helsie said...

Sounds like a lovely break in a very pretty part of Oz. Your photos as always are great. You really should put some together as a calendar for 2014 you know especially some of your WA ones.

Claire said...

What a wonderful weekend you had Anne.
You were practically staying in my back yard, hehe....
Shame about the accommodation falling through, but good on hubby for making you a nice hot cuppa.
Lovely pics, the country side looks wonderful and green at this time of year.

Claire x

Joolz said...

Thanks for taking us along on your weekend away. Your pictures are so clear and vibrant. I loved the Strathbogle Range pic. Its an area that I know we would enjoy, maybe next year for the festival.

Cheers - Joolz

Julie said...

A friend sent me your link. I also went to the King Valley for the weekend, and lunched at the Whitfield pub on the Sunday. Small world. We stayed in a house in Myrtleford. It was my third visit for the festival, although my friends have been many more times than I.

Little Blue Mouse said...

It looks like you had a great weekend!